Can I Grow Spider Plants in an Aquarium? (Explained)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Spider plants are unquestionably among the easiest houseplants to cultivate for both amateur and experienced gardeners.

With the proper care, these plants can grow well when propagated in water mediums. A lot of people have asked if you can grow spider plants in your aquarium?

Spider plants can grow and thrive in aquariums, however, you have to take care to meet the environmental requirements or the plant may die off.

The most important thing is to ensure only the roots and not the leaves of the plant are submerged in water.

If you have been stumped on spider plant cultivation in aquariums, this article will help answer most of the questions you might have. 

Can I Grow Spider Plants In An Aquarium?

Spider plants can also be grown in aquariums.

Spider plants will grow in aquariums, fish tanks, and bowls.

However, this is only if the roots and not the leaves are submerged.

There are also other environmental, climate, fertilizer, space, and water requirements to be met to successfully grow spider plants in an aquarium.

Although spider plants can grow in water, it is not their preferred habitat for long-term growth.

The roots require a lot of room, and they struggle to survive if the soil is too damp. They can live for a long time provided the soil is wet and well-aerated.

They will only survive in such an environment if only the roots are submerged and the leaves remain above the surface.

Because they are non-reactive, they will rot if completely submerged.

Because plants and marine animals coexist in aquariums, they differ from regular fish tanks and bowls.

Higher water volume, lighting, and a water aeration system are common features in these environments, all of which are ideal for growing spider plants.

Here is an article I wrote on why spider plants like milk

What Are The Pros And Cons?


  • There’s no denying the fact that spider plants are great plants which liven up the environment. They improve the look of your aquarium and can often be used for decorative purposes.
  • Spider plants help to filter dirt particles from the water by trapping the dirt in their leaves. They then release chlorophyll and this leads to a breakdown of the dirt and turns them into nutrients for the plants.
  • The plant aids oxygen production which is useful for releasing toxins from the aquarium.
  • Spider plant also increases the humidity in the area because they trap water in their roots which later evaporates into the air. This is good as increased humidity reduces the incidence of air-borne diseases.
  • When you plant spider plants in aquariums, you would not have to add fertilizer regularly. 


  • It requires more sunlight and aeration than when planted in soil. You would have to invest more time and energy into that.
  • You have to come up with a system to keep the leaves out of the water. You could use a tray or special containers for security. 

Are Spider Plants Toxic To Fish?

Quite a number of people will come out to tell you spider plants are unsuitable for aquariums because they are land plants and might not survive underwater.

However, with the right care, you’ll discover spider plants will do quite well and also thrive.

Another concern usually given is the fact that spider plants might be toxic to the fish. On their own, spider plants are not toxic to fish.

On the other hand, they cleanse the aquarium environment by purifying the air and filtering toxins from the water.

The only time spider plants will be toxic to fish is when the plant has been previously sprayed with chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides.

Thus, it is always advisable to grow your own spider plants and spiderlings before propagating in water. 

Also check out this article I wrote on are spider plants succulents

How Do You Plant A Spider Plant In An Aquarium?

To begin growing spider plants in the aquarium, just cut a two-inch-long section off the stem and position it near the side of your aquarium’s bottom.

Cloning is often the best method as you propagate the spiderlings as opposed to planting seedlings in the water.

This method is recommended since spider plant leaves should not be submerged in water. 

After positioning the spiderling, cover it with gravel or sand until only the tip of the stem is visible above the surface of the soil. 

To ensure that your plant receives sufficient light, this should be done 1 to 2 inches below where your aquarium’s light will be positioned.

The soil should then be hydrated and replaced every few weeks as necessary to prevent root rot caused by the tank’s high saltwater content.

Can I Put My Spider Plant In Water?

You can put spider plants in water as they can survive in different water environments when treated properly.

Like I said previously, cuttings from the mother plant are great for water propagation.

Water won’t sustain the cut for long and you would have to apply fertilizer to provide key nutrients. 

It is advisable to use demineralized water or let tap water soak a day before planting. Spider plant water needs frequent adjustments.

Fish food or diluted houseplant food are good liquid fertilizers. Change the cutting’s water every week to minimize salt buildup. 

Chopsticks or skewers can be used to protect plant foliage from drooping in water and remember, only the roots should be submerged.

Rainwater helps protect the roots against acidic or mineralized solutions. 

After a while, you will need to remove rooted plants and fill the container with washed pebbles.

This will give the roots something to grab onto after replanting. Fertilize monthly, but flush the system weekly to prevent salt buildup.

If the plant yellows, remove it, rinse the roots, and replant. Your plant will be happy, and maintenance will be less.

How Long Can You Leave A Spider Plant In Water?

We have established that you can successfully plant and propagate spider plants in water.

You cannot leave the plants in water for months without making a change, however. Endeavor to change the water every 5-7 days.

If water is pale or discolored, replace it early. Clean water lets you monitor root growth.

Avoid using water that is too hot or cold.

It is best practice to use water at room temperature to prevent shock to the plant.

Typical tap water contains fluoridated or chlorinated water, which causes leaves to turn brown and as such should be avoided.

Use purified, mineral, well, pond, borewell, or rainwater, or let tap water sit for a day to remove chlorine.

How Long Do Spider Plants Take To Root In Water?

Once you cut your spiderlings and place them in water, they will begin to take root fast as spider plants are rapid developers.

In a few weeks, you should begin to observe fresh development in the form of new roots. 

Typically rooting will take about 7 to 10 days.

To ensure fast results, keep the soil moist, but not drenched. The most effective method to achieve this is to spray the plants with water.


Although spider plants are not aquatic plants, this should not serve as a discouragement against planting them in water.

You can cultivate and grow spider plants in aquariums as long as you follow the required environmental guidelines to sustain the plants.

As we have mentioned, spider plant leaves should not be submerged in the water as it would lead to rot.

Always change your water frequently, and do not use tap water. It is advisable to use demineralized water as that is safer for your plants.

Spider plants are also not toxic to fish as they filter the air and the water in the aquarium.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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